Authored by Sooky McFadden, Gaithersburg CARES Hub Coordinator
After I became a Christian, figuring out God’s purpose for me became an obsession. I am a “do-er” by nature and wanted the list of things I needed to do to fulfill His plan for my life. I was incessantly praying for God to reveal what I was supposed to be doing with my life. It got to the point where I prayed, quite specifically, for Him to send me an email with my purpose in the subject line—just so there would not be any misunderstanding. No surprise that I never did get that email. I figured that my next strategy would be to pray more generally—asking that the Creator of the universe, who apparently doesn’t like to send emails, just use my skills and abilities to further His kingdom.
Over and over I prayed, trying to find clarity. Again and again, I felt frustrated by the lack of it.
The one thing I did manage to do, however, was exercise spiritually. At some point in my journey, I decided to treat my spiritual development much like I treated my exercise routine. I started doing aerobics YEARS ago—back in the 80’s as a young student—I had a step (remember those step aerobic classes?) that I brought to a class, dyna-bands with handles to use during the workout, and tons of video cassettes in case I missed a class. Eventually, exercise became a habit and part of my life. On days I didn’t feel like it, the habit usually won out and I always felt better after.
So when I didn’t want to read the Bible anymore, when I started making excuses to not go to bible study, and when I got out of the habit of praying on a regular basis, I knew it was not good for me. But how to force myself to do something I knew was good for me, but didn’t, in that moment, WANT to do? Well that is the definition of exercise for many of us, isn’t it?
I intentionally incorporated God’s word, prayer, etc. into my life routine so it became like my exercise habit.
Fast forward to my epic quest to find purpose. When I got frustrated with a lack of direction, I started the spiritual exercise of doing things I knew would help: I tried community service; I sought new volunteer opportunities outside my comfort zone; I got involved at Seneca Creek organizing events; I sat through training sessions at various organizations only to volunteer once and never go back; I started packing bags at Germantown HELP and scarily committed to doing it one Sunday a month (this was when my kids had crazy sports schedules and the thought of adding in one more thing sent me over the edge).
To be honest, while I do see God’s hand in where I am today as the Gburg CARES Hub coordinator, I still don’t have the crystal clear clarity on what my purpose is.
But tomorrow, I will wake up at 6am to do my morning walk and then head over to 13 Firstfield for another crazy day packing bags of food.
And hopefully I will stick to my habits and remember to say a prayer in the car and read a bible quote on social media.